Elected officials treat citizens as customers and speak as if tax dollars are payments for goods and services received rather than an obligation of citizenship. They encourage us to ask whether we, personally, are getting our money's worth from government.
Who was really "America's Mayor," Rudy Giuliani or John V. Lindsay? Each could stake a credible claim to that rubric, which was the title of a book about Giuliani and of one that I just edited on Lindsay.
What puts this first year in perspective for me is that: Obama may not be smarter than all of us, but he sure is smarter by a long shot than McCain would have been. And that, for now, is enough for me.